Speaking is one of the most terrifying things that anyone can do. Getting up in front of a group of people, opening your mouth, and praying that nothing stupid falls out, or that you don’t pass out, keeps many folks in their seats. However, I am going to give you three P's to confident speaking. The first tip is: (The three P’s are:)
1. Prepare: Nothing kills confidence more than lack of preparation. You must know your content or topic better than anyone else in the room at the time – you are one with the mic. Think about this; at the very moment you stand up to speak, you are the expert. You must believe in and deliver what you have prepared.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice: There is something to practicing, it goes hand in hand with Step 1. Once you have learned your content, stand in front of the mirror and deliver your speech or presentation. Ladies and gentlemen, if you think being in front of a crowd is nerve-racking, try looking at yourself and seeing your facial expression! But it is necessary for you to see yourself in action. That way, you can get over the awkwardness of your body. Lastly, deliver it as if were a live presentation, with all the emotions and gestures. Remember – practice, practice, practice, and by the time you’re done, your presentation you will be ready.
3. Pace: Know this – until you get comfortable with speaking and controlling your message, you will stand up and power through your presentation. It could be 20 minutes long, you practiced it and timed it. However, when you get up on that stage and you see that crowd, you first instinct is to rush. So you speed up and you are done in 10, leaving your audience wondering, “What was that blur?”. The hint when speaking is to go counter. So instead of speeding up, go twice as slow. If you make small gestures, make extra big gestures. What you will find that you will be on your mark and will have delivered a message that people can understand and enjoy.
These steps are just a few of things you can do to overcome that fear and deliver a better presentation. So let’s recap:
Not get off the bench and go deliver that speech with confidence.